Adherence to treatment among adolescents in a psychiatric ward


Correspondence: Ulla Timlin, PhD Student, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, PO Box 5000, Oulu 90014, Finland. Telephone: +358 294 48 5601.



Aims and objectives

To examine the adolescent's adherence in psychiatric inpatient care that includes both medication and non-pharmacological treatment.


Adolescents can deny having a problem or being in need of treatment and are therefore prone to defying attempts to engage them in a collaborative treatment process. There is still little information in the literature concerning adherence to psychiatric inpatient treatment among mentally ill adolescents, especially focusing on the entire treatment period and all forms of treatment.


This is a retrospective, mixed-method study.


Data were collected from discharge reports written by doctors (n = 72) and were subjected to inductive content analysis. Adherence to all forms of treatment was considered, over the entirety of the treatment period rather than focusing on a single specific time point.


Three main adherence-related content categories were identified: non-adherence to treatment, adherence to treatment and challenges of adherence. The last of these categories contains information on factors that affect adolescent treatment adherence.


We found that adherent adolescents are cooperative, willing to receive treatment and participate actively in therapies aimed at relieving their mental symptoms or illness.

Relevance to clinical practice

The findings presented herein are likely to be informative in the context of inpatient treatment, and it is expected that the results presented herein will help to improve adolescents' quality of treatment.